The Diderot Effect or Domino Effect in Our Life and Consumption
Many inventions and designs are the result of coincidence.
The drop of an apple on your head or the purchase of a red dressing gown can change your life and the course of history.
Now let’s take a detailed look at how a beautiful red dressing gown has changed all of our lives.
Who is Denis Diderot?
The Diderot Effect is named after the French philosopher and writer Denis Diderot.
Living between 1713 and 1784, Denis Diderot was one of the most important figures of the Age of Enlightenment and a pioneer of the Romanticism movement.
As the chief editor of the Encyclopedia, which was designed to educate and develop the public, Diderot played a major role in the development and socialization of 18th century intellectuals.
Diderot, who wrote dozens of works during his lifetime, made many contributions to literature as well as philosophy.
What is the Diderot Effect?
The Diderot Effect, in short, is a concept used to explain that every new thing we buy encourages us to buy other new things.
Why the ‘Diderot Effect’?
Denis Diderot, in his essay ‘Regrets for my old dressing gown’, described the consumption dilemma he had fallen into.
Since Diderot was the first person to talk about the consumption dilemma caused by buying things without needing them, this dilemma or cycle is called the Diderot Effect.
The story is told in two versions: One is that the dressing gown was a gift, the other that she bought it herself.
The Russian Empress Catherine the Great bought the library of Diderot, whom she heard was having financial problems. She asked him to keep the library in his home and made Diderot her librarian, paying his salary for 25 years in advance.
Diderot, who pays off his debts and becomes comfortable as a result of this help, buys an elegant dressing gown (or an elegant dressing gown is gifted to Diderot by a friend).
When Diderot puts on the dressing gown, he thinks that the things in his house do not suit the dressing gown, that they are old and do not match the dressing gown. So he changes his desk, the pictures on the wall, his armchair. Soon he had replaced almost all the furniture in his house with new ones, but he was in debt again.
Realizing his predicament, Diderot describes the impulse that drove him to buy things he didn’t need in his essay ‘Regret for my old dressing gown’.
‘Why didn’t I hide him? He was used to me and I to him… He hugged every curve of my body. The other one is stiff and starched, it makes me look bulky. But the old one met all my needs.I could wipe dusty books with its skirt. The lines on it spoke of literature, the writer, the working man. But now I have the air of a useless rich man. No one knows who I am. I wasn’t afraid to be clumsy in it. I went from being the absolute master of my old robe to the slave of the new one… Damn this precious garment I used to respect and admire. Where is my old, common cloth, modest, comfortable rag?… My friends, keep your old friends. My friends, beware of wealth touching you. Let my situation be an example to you. Poverty has its freedoms, wealth has its drawbacks… That’s not all, my friends. Look at the ravages of luxury, the consequences of ever-increasing luxury. My old robe was in harmony with the other junk around me. A wicker chair; a wooden table; an old bookcase with a few books; a few unframed, sooty engravings; a few pieces of plaster lifted into the air between these engravings, all this was in harmony with my old robe. Now everything is broken, harmony, unity and beauty are gone!’
Every new object we buy does not harmonize with other objects in the place where it is located/used.
In order to create harmony and integrity with the new object, it is desirable to replace other old and worn objects with new ones.
The real impact and value of objects carry meaning and functionality within a whole (Diderot Integrity).
The Importance of the Diderot Effect and the Gestalt Approach
The Diderot Effect has an important place in cultural anthropology, psychology and sociology as it describes both the desire for shopping in all times and the current consumer frenzy.
Let’s think about ourselves in the simplest way. We don’t want to use any clothes or items unless they fit the fashion, the era, a certain concept or our style. This is the Diderot Integrity.
The Diderot Effect is when each purchase triggers each other, for a simple example, when we buy shoes, bags, buckles and jewelry to match our new dress, or even a new coat. We probably didn’t need the new shoes, bag and coat. The entire purchase was made without conscious thought, just to fit in.
On the other hand, the cultural codes we adopt impose harmony and completeness. This, in turn, greatly influences or determines our willingness and behavior to buy and own. Because, consciously or unconsciously, we seek to acquire the whole.
The human search for wholeness is in line with the Gestalt Principles put forward in the 20th century: Holism leads to a more meaningful and valuable outcome. As long as human beings do not attain wholeness, they feel incomplete and deprived. As a result, they strive to achieve wholeness.
Two Dimensions of the Diderot Effect
When a consumer buys a product, he or she buys new products related to that product to complete the whole.
For example, a new house and new furniture, a new dress and new accessories, new clothes that we think are appropriate for that status after a promotion, etc.
Avoidance of new purchases is also a secondary dimension. The person may also develop the behavior of not buying new products out of concern that it will disrupt the integrity.
Two Assumptions of the Diderot Effect on Shopping Habits
The products we buy are part of our character, they reflect our social status and identity. They complement our other purchases.
We need to create a new group for the new product that we buy and that is not like what we had before. So we start buying other new products to complement the new product.
How to deal with the Diderot Effect?
In a world based on consumption, where having more, higher models, better and the ‘latest’ is a status indicator, we first need to change our mindset.
We can ask ourselves some questions before shopping:
Does the product I have meet my needs?
Do I really need this product?
What am I paying for?
Creating the perception that you can buy ‘happiness, joy, energy, beauty, …’ with a product (selling a philosophy or lifestyle) is nothing new.
Keep in mind that what you are buying is just an object. No object can make you a better, happier person or make you more loved and admired.
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How to Make Money with Dropshipping?
One of the best alternatives to make money online
Dropshipping is a chain e-commerce sales model that acts as a bridge between the buyer and the seller through the supplier company.
The recent increase in consumer society has brought an increase in need. This situation has also caused a great intensity in shopping rates.
Thanks to the recently developing technology, online shopping has become increasingly widespread.
This situation has caused entrepreneurs to turn to dropshipping, which mediates the transition to the e-commerce model.
What is Dropshipping?
E-commerce models that attract the attention of entrepreneurs have brought the question “What is Dropshipping?”.
Dropshipping is a stockless e-commerce model. It acts as a bridge between the buyer and the seller. Since sales are made through the supplier, it is called a chain e-commerce model.
Dropshipping details and things to know can be listed as follows;
- In order to make e-commerce, first of all, a platform where the sale will be realized is selected. Membership procedures are also completed and the process is started in accordance with the legal procedure.
- In order to attract the attention of the customer, the store window to be sold should be decorated with web designs.
- The listing content of the products to be sold and to be included on the sales page should be prepared and uploaded to the relevant site.
- Competitors should be investigated and the competitive market and legal obligations should be complied with.
- Supplier selection, which is the most important stage, must be done correctly. Choosing the right supplier is very important because it is a situation that constitutes the basic principle of sales and is responsible to the customer.
- In order to reach a relevant audience, it is necessary to advertise using different social media platforms.
What Benefits Does Stockless E-commerce Provide?
The recent pandemic process has led even people who have never known online shopping to using it.
Especially for daily needs, the number of people who benefit from online shopping without visiting a physical store has exceeded millions.
The benefits of the stockless e-commerce model that entrepreneurs are turning to can be listed as follows;
- Business management can be done from anywhere and is easily managed.
- It provides the advantage of being the boss of your own business.
- The need for market entry capital required for entrepreneurship is quite low.
- There is no need for office and storage space. It is a stockless e-commerce model.
- Shipping costs are quite low. The products sold are sent to the customer by the suppliers. Therefore, the shipping cost is close to zero.
Is Capital Required for Stockless E-commerce?
It is an e-commerce model where the cost of entry into the market is quite low.
There is no other cost other than the fee paid to the platform where you become a member by wanting to sell and the preferred software fee.
Until you get to the stage of making a profit by selling, it will be enough to set a budget only for the first sales. Shipping costs are close to zero.
Since it is a sales model that does not require storage and office needs, the cost is very low.
Choosing the right supplier will make your job even easier. Otherwise, you may face situations such as missing and faulty product shipments or disruption in the delivery process.
Therefore, planned budget utilization and electronic commerce strategy methods should be used correctly for crisis management.
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